I sincerely want to wish all my golf students a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. As a teaching golf professional, I meet many wonderful people and establish friendships for a lifetime.

Several of my students are very generous to me this time of year and send me some thoughtful gifts. Charles was nice enough to send me a dozen old golf balls that he fished out of our ponds at the Resort. Rick found me an old golf towel, perhaps from the same place. Dave found me one of my old Forest Gump signature golf balls. It must have fallen out of my golf bag a year or so ago.

Bill surprised me with a half bottle of Merlot still wrapped in a brown paper bag. It is nice to have such thoughtful friends. Steve found me an old rusty nine iron with a bent shaft. Mark came across an old six iron with no shaft. Since I do repair and restore old golf clubs, Handsome John gave me one of his old drivers, both pieces.

There seems to be a trend here. Jeff was kind enough to send me one of his old golf bags. I’ll need to have someone replace the zippers, all seven of them. If you have someone you would like to surprise for Christmas, there are several items every golfer should always keep in their golf bag. Believe it or not, a new set of shoe laces would be nice. You never know when you or one of your golf buddies might need a replacement.

You must always keep insect repellent in your bag, along with a blank scorecard, band aids, an extra pair of socks, sun block, new golf balls and old ones, golf pencil with an eraser, a Sharpie, a water bottle, hand warmers, aftershave, a clean golf towel, a few snacks, an overripe banana to drop in Gary’s golf bag, and some ball markers. Be sure to never create bad feelings. Pay backs are not pretty. Proper holiday etiquette is to follow up a gag gift with a good one. Hey Ben – I did not forget you, just running a little behind schedule.

Rod Sims is the PGA Teaching Professional at Mount Shasta Resort. He would love to hear from you. He can be reached at (209) 329-5634.